WFTDA 2016 September rankings & Algorithm Update

WFTDA 2016 September rankings & Algorithm Update Photo credit: Matthew Becker Photography.

Last week, WFTDA released the September 30th rankings, which includes all Division 1 and 2 Playoff games, and announced that membership had voted in a ‘decay function’ for the rankings. We have a few highlights of team movement since the June rankings release and a look at where the teams have settled heading into Championships.

Last week’s algorithm update isn’t the first change to the rankings calculator since it’s inception. After WFTDA introduced Divisions in 2013, the first rankings release came in March for games played through February. At the time, the rankings updates came every other month outside of tournaments, but a year later it was changed to a monthly posting outside of tournament season.

Not sure how rankings or the calculator works? Check out this link for more resources.

Along with that change, the Rankings Committee also developed a new algorithm which used a team’s ranking points average, rather than their rank, to determine the Strength Factor which decides total game points. Then in Fall of that year, the WFTDA membership voted to get rid of weighted games for tournaments. Games played at WFTDA Playoffs and Championships were previously given a multiplier that made those games worth more, but starting with the October 2014 ranking release, all games were weighted the same. (We also wrote about this change briefly at the time.)

In May of 2015, teams were given the option of utilizing the Strength Factor Challenge Program to help give them a more realistic ranking. Mostly benefited by teams outside the United States who have a harder time playing higher ranked teams, leagues new to WFTDA membership, or having gone through a roster overhaul, have used it as well.

The latest change to the way the rankings work will put emphasis on games played in the most recent six months, providing a more realistic view of the team currently, whereas the previous system often reflected games played between two different seasons. Games from the oldest six months of the 12-month window are given a decay factor of 0.5 which means they’ll effectively be half as significant when calculating a team’s ranking.

Beginning this new system on July 1st means that games will have been played under it for a full year, and numbers from January-June will be more influential in providing the 2017 Playoff picture. To see all the calculations under this new formula, read the WFTDA announcement.

Photo credit: Derby With Recess.

Photo credit: Derby With Recess.

With the Decay Function announcement, WFTDA also released rankings that include the recent Playoff games. Of note in the top ten, Angel City has nudged their way into the upper half at #4, while Rose City took back the #3 spot they had been in earlier this season. The rise from those two teams means that London fell to #5, despite placing 1st in Montréal. Gotham still remains at #1, and their rankings average has pushed them over 1,000. Victoria isn’t too far behind them, however, just trailing Gotham by 19.23 points.

Also at the top, Jacksonville and Denver swapped places after the Mile High Club took a win over them at Playoffs in Columbia. New Jax City had beat them previously at Sibling Rivalry but had to change things up last month with Erin Jackson out of the country for the FIRS World Roller Speed Skating Championships. Bay Area dropped all the way to #20 while Dallas and Team United moved just a bit higher at #14 and #15 respectively. The current top 11 will be attending WFTDA Championships for Divison 1, but Montréal is the 12th league, after taking 3rd place at Playoffs and sit at #19 in the rankings.

A little over a quarter of the top 40 teams are located outside the United States, and Crime City came closer to the top 10 at #13, while Rainy City saw a slight boost of five spots to #21. The regional diversity is mostly represented by Europe and Canada, with a few from Australia, but now South America has claimed a spot in the D1 bubble with 2×4 Roller Derby, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, ranking debut at #40. Just below that, Sydney’s games from last September dropped off their average and they moved up 25 places to #44.

Photo credit: Joe Mac.

Photo credit: Joe Mac.

This release had a total of 13 teams who weren’t previously ranked, bringing the total number of ranked teams to 307 of the 381 member leagues. Canada has another team on the map with #86 E-ville Roller Derby from Edmonton, AB. Also ranked for the first time around the globe is #169 Birmingham Blitz from the UK, #269 Barockcity from Germany, #283 Thunder Bay from Canada, and #259 Convict City from Australia.

Other movement in the rankings saw Sacred City fall to the edge of D1 at #39 while Blue Ridge now finds themselves near the Divisional divide again at #43. Cincinnati and Kansas City, two teams who had a tough playoff experience, both dropped to the edge of D2 at #58 and #62 respectively. With last year’s playoff games decayed in their average, Toronto dropped a further 10 spots to #83 and Emerald City is down 28 places to #100. And with Playoffs completely out of their 12-month history, Pikes Peak is -44 ranks to #125, Glasgow fell 79 to #185, and Demolition City is -91 to #188.

Looking ahead in WFTDA play, 12 Division 1 teams, and 4 Division 2 teams will battle it out for the top of their Divisions November 4-6 in Portland, Oregon. Division 2 games will start Friday morning with #1 Wichita seed Brandywine (#50) taking on #2 Lansing seed Charlottesville (#52) followed by #1 Lansing seed Calgary (#48) will play #2 Wichita seed Blue Ridge (#43). The losers of each matchup will play for 3rd place Sunday at noon, and then the winners will play for 1st place.

For Division 1, #1 Gotham, #2 Victoria, #3 Rose City, and #5 London will all enter the bracket with a bye as #1 seeds. The first-day matchups will be between #2 and #3 seeds: #7 Denver/#8 Arch Rival, #4 Angel City/#19 Montréal, #9 Minnesota/#10 Jacksonville, and #6 Texas/#11 Rat City. Check out the brackets below and comment with your picks!


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